Coho update and a river otter

Tiller, OR(Zone 8a)

Some of you will remember I'd posted several years ago about the Coho returning to area creeks, (after a 55 year absence) and the creek rehab That was done. The fish have returned every winter since 2004. In 2012 a new bridge replaced a culvert where our Joe Hall Creek ran under the highway to join the larger Elk Creek. Last winter the Coho had a new spawning area under the bridge, out of view of the Bald Eagles watching from the nearby evergreen trees.

The usual late November Coho run has been delayed by very low waters. I went to 3 Falls, where locals gather to watch the Coho jump the falls, after a rainfall in January, but there still was not enough water.

I saw but one Coho, a large buck, and it was in the jaws of an otter.

As far as I know there have been no other fish this far up. I'd like to think they spawned in the river, but one year they waited below the falls by the hundreds, and for several weeks. We felt so bad for the fish, and it was a very exciting time when they were able to clear the falls and continue upstream.

Here are a few shots of the otter w/ his catch.

Thumbnail by tigerlily Thumbnail by tigerlily Thumbnail by tigerlily Thumbnail by tigerlily Thumbnail by tigerlily
Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

When were these pictures taken? Did you mean that the November run was delayed until late January, early February? And could you tell what shape the fish was in before the otter caught it?
It is a nice big fish, but I was wondering if maybe it had already run out of time.

Tiller, OR(Zone 8a)

That photo was taken on January 13th. The Coho was in good shape. When they spawn, they batter themselves pretty badly in the digging of their redds (nest). They will show patches of white (deterioration) after working the redds. Then they will guard the redds until their demise.

We haven't yet had this seasons run, which usually takes place late November. Coho are often referred to as the Thanksgiving fish. We are in serious draught, and I certainly dread the upcoming summer. We've already had some high fire danger days this year. Very unusual.

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